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Vision of scientist-priest Teilhard de Chardin to guide April 8-9 environmental talks
Sessions planned for United Nations, Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine; Kenyan Nobel laureate Wangari Maathai among speakers

ENS 031405-1
3/14/2005
[Episcopal News Service]  In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the death of scientist-priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, the City University of New York's Continuing Education and Public Programs Graduate Center will host three free programs April 8-9, including two presentations at the Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

Teilhard, who died in New York City on April 10 (Easter Day), 1955, was a leader among 20th-century clerics who sought to integrate scientific research with a religious vocation. At an early point in his career, Teilhard, a paleontologist and Jesuit priest, made it his personal mission to reconstruct the most basic Christian doctrines from the perspectives of science and, at the same time, to reconstruct science from the perspectives of faith.

On April 8, a presentation titled "The Spirit of the Earth: Global Spirituality and a Sustainable Future" will take place at the United Nations from 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr. Wangari Maathai, the Kenyan environmentalist well known among other efforts for widespread tree-planting initiatives, will be among the speakers. Others include Steven Rockefeller, chair, Earth Charter Drafting Committee; Adnan Amin, director of the U.N. Environmental Program; Brian Swimme, co-author of "Universe Story;" and Mary Evelyn Tucker, vice president, American Teilhard Association.

A panel discussion on "The Influence of Teilhard's Thought on Scientific Research" will be held at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine on April 9, 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Panelist include Ludvico Galleni, professor of biology, University of Pisa; Mark McMenamin, professor of geology, Mount Holyoke College; Kathleen Duffy, professor of physics, Chestnut Hill College; Harold Morowitz, Krasnow Institute for Advance Study at George Mason University and James Skehan, SJ, professor of geology, Boston College.

"A Celebration of the Epic of Evolution: Affirming the Vision of Teilhard," the final program, will also be held at the Cathedral on April 9 from 2-4 p.m. Speakers will include Swimme, Ursula King, emeritus professor of religion, Bristol University; John Grim, professor of religion, Bucknell University and president of the American Teilhard Association; Helen Prejean, author of "Dead Man Walking;" and Miriam Therese MacGillis, director of Genesis Farm. Musical selections will be performed by the Paul Winter Consort.

The commemoration is also expected to include a pilgrimage to Teilhard de Chardin's grave site at the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park, New York.

Further information and reservations may be obtained by phone, 212.817.8215, or electronic mail, continuinged@gc.cuny.edu.